The High 48s bluegrass band will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson.
Since forming in 2006, The High 48s have been making music that combines the soulful sound of classic bluegrass with a modern attitude, original songs and a wide range of influences.
In a genre created and dominated by artists from the South, the members of the quintet were born and raised in the upper Midwest. In a music scene where playing standards is the norm, The High 48s are a band of songwriters who perform their own material in addition to the "festival favorites."
Clint Birtzer won his first flatpicking guitar championship at the age of 13 and is currently a three-time Minnesota State Flatpicking Guitar Champion. He is a founding member of the Sawtooth Brothers, a successful progressive bluegrass band. His work on the No Grass Limit project "Originals" earned him national attention when the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America named him the Midwest Guitar Performer of the Year for 2015. He was also nominated for the national award that same year.
In addition to providing a solid musical foundation to The High 48s' hard-driving bluegrass sound, Rich Casey, bass and vocals, keeps a busy performance schedule lending his skills to a wide range of musical situations.
Eric Christopher has performed, recorded, and/or toured with dozens of bluegrass, Americana, and alternative country acts, including The James King Band, Alan Munde and Vic Chesnutt. In 2011, he was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to record an album which will feature tunes collected from upper Midwestern fiddlers. He also gives fiddle and mandolin lessons at American Strings Music Studio in St. Paul and leads fiddle workshops at festivals and music camps around the country.
Mike Hedding has been a staple of the Minnesota bluegrass scene for the better part of a decade. He first started playing mandolin in 2005. He quickly decided he needed to widen his talents and picked up the banjo. He started teaching mandolin and banjo in 2009 and now teaches mandolin, banjo, bass and guitar full-time. He has been studying Monroe-style mandolin with Mike Compton since 2012 and remains self-taught on the banjo, utilizing classic bluegrass recordings and books to hone his craft.
Anthony Ihrig is a former drummer who brought his rock-solid timing to the banjo and helped form the Midwestern newgrass band Free Range Pickin'. His melodic banjo style and songwriting skills have helped earn him radio play in Nashville and a review in Bluegrass Unlimited. In early 2012, he released a solo album titled "Missing Ghosts," an all-original record featuring Eric Christopher on the fiddle.
Tickets are $24 for adults and $17 for students of any age. For reservations, contact The Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409 or online at www.ThePhipps.org.